Auburn, WA, United States | Member Since 2008
A dozen years ago, Robert Putnam released what has become a classic in sociology: Bowling Alone. In this book, Putnam lamented how technology was distancing people from one another and how it was wearing down the natural tendency of people to interact in face-to-face, interpersonal ways: at church socials, book discussion groups, bowling leagues. Now Matthew Lieberman is using the fairly new but ever burgeoning (and tremendously popular!) science of neuro-imaging to show that Putnam was right: we need each other. The book holds up pretty well and remains interesting throughout, and it is cool to know what parts of the brain are associated with social interactions (and this is why I purchased the book) but the one caveat might be that it is somewhat guilty of what Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfield (authors of Brainwashed) call "neuro-redundancy," that is, using neuroscience to state the obvious. (Witness Kayt Sukel's This Is Your Brain On Sex...we learn that orgasms light up the pleasure and motivation centers of the brain: in short, we learn that orgasms feel good and people are motivated to have them...DUH!) Any good sociology textbook will show a plethora of plausible reasons why people need people (and why they are the luckiest people of all!), and the neo-Darwinians (Wilson, Pinker, Wright, et. al) have been going on for some time about how evolution has "hard-wired" us to be social. Okay, people need other people: that part is a "no-brainer." Still, the book is interesting from a scientific level if not so much from a sociological one. So get the 411 on your brain on social interaction here...and then read Putnam's classic Bowling Alone...
via youtube in his talks and debates for some time now and especially respect his response to the vitral and hatred that spews forth from the "new atheists," headed up by Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens. This book is the encapsulation of that argument against this false attack on Christianity and is a must read for the Christian in our current times.
to get a clear take on the Calvinist approach to the Christian faith. One might also enjoy the works of Tozer in relation to this book, since Packer's style is more folksy and personal and Tozer's more poetic and rhapsodic. Packer, Sproul and Tozer taken together will give one a wonderful feel for God and the relationship that can be established with Him.
of the postmodern "church," more self-help group or vague, self-satisfied social mission than body of Christ embracing the doctrine of the Bible. PCism, selfishness and spiritual laziness are what have given us the easy, breezy Joel Olsteen and Oprah takes on Christianity (washed clean of anything unpleasant and nearly of scripture itself), and Douthat makes a great argument against such a mistaken approach in this book, encouraging us to get back to the faith that has truly been the backbone of Christianity from the beginning.
to my reading of Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology, in which he puts forth the very same proposition as this book: everyone must face the big questions and is, by default, a theologian of one degree or another. Sproul obviously takes the theist stance here and makes good defense of it. Such books are very important now, given the easy, breezy (and overly simplistic and just plain biased) attacks on theism that come through the channels of the "new atheism" (think Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens). It is time for theists to start thinking again, open a book, and learn why the new wave atheists are wrong in their facile and one-sided approach to the deeper questions.
It is too bad that Christian thought has, for the most part, descended to the likes of Joel Osteen and the other "positive attitude" self-helpers that turn out followers who not only have trouble reciting the most rudiimentary Biblical stories but also have grave difffitulty formulating more than the most abcendarian argument for why they supposedly hold the beliefs they do. Bonhoeffer, Barth and Tillach are three of the great modern theologians, and their work is more important than ever, for its depth and breadth of understanding of the Christian faith and the navigation of its deeper waters and swifter currents. Indeed, the new atheism of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens would have more difficulty taking out religious people one by one if there were more who had actually read their scriptures, supplimented by brilliant texts as this one by Barth. A must have for the real theological thinker.
If you are a man tired of the feminizing demands put on you and wonder why men abused and humilated by their wives on TV shows and commercials is funny rather than being considered what it is--spousal abuse--or if you are a woman, puzzled by the fact that your relationships never seem to work out because you have been programmed to say you want one thing from a man but actually, instinctually, want something else--or if you are just plain finished with the radical feminists who continue to claim victimization in every realm (they are actually ahead in most realms, like control of resources and preference in job acquisition) in order to gain ever more political power--than this is the book for you. The truth--hard and unvarnished...not PC, but the truth nonetheless.
that inevitably will receive many knee-jerk reactions from politically frenzied people who have never read the thing...but the points Schlaffy makes are clear and precise. Yes, equal rights are important, but modern radical feminism is not about equal rights: it is about hating men and "the patriarchy." It is also about women having to work harder than ever, getting the blunt end of the "sexual revolution" that feminism encouraged, and having a much harder time in relationships that they are trained to despise when things just really aren't that bad most of the time. Look, read the book or don't, but don't judge it until you have turned the last page. (Also see the videos and writings of Dr. Janice Fiamengo and Karen Straughen to see the mindless hate and unfairness that often comes with modern radical feminism. Also Steven Pinker is a good source when he writes or discusses gender: he deems himself an "equality feminist" but eschews the harmful radical stuff.)
to Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, a virulent bit of atheist grandstanding that has gained attention more from cranks than serious thinkers. It also came in the wake of Dawkins ambushing Chopra in a tabloid-show style in what he wanted to pass for an "interview." (Chopra claimed he talked with Dawkins, despite the ambush, for three hours, only to have Dawkins chop it up into three minutes of the latter sneering and jeering, and then Dawkins slapped the title "Enemy of the Truth" on the thing and posted it on youtube. Chopra defended himself on television, and then, despite being perfectly justified and not nearly as aggressive as Dawkins, showed himself the bigger man and posted an apology video himself...) I say all that to say this: Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens (one cannot say "rest his soul," I suppose), and Harris have gone from being legitimate critics of certain aspects of religion to mocking atheist fundamentalists which blind themselves entirely to the deeper aspects of spirituality and metaphysics of any kind and poke fun at anyone who does not agree like bullies in a schoolyard they now consider to be solely their territory... I must say that Deepok Chopra is not my first choice as a defender of things spiritual (try reading some Dietrich Bonhoffer, Luther or Karl Barth, or even Emerson or James), but The Future of God (perhaps a play on Freud's Future Of An Illusion) is a book that had to be written for its time. I give this book five stars for its message and because it pushes back at the current tide--not because I think Chopra can never be a bit flaky or too ethereal or vague (although he makes some definite points in regard to consciousness and the spiritual in relation to science and physics. Having had my time with Buddhism, I think the idea that the entire universe and everything in it is conscious, and that we are just certain manifestations of that consciousness makes perfect intuitive sense, even if you can't put it in a test tube.) I guess at last I will say this book can perhaps save us a bit from becoming too jaded, too cynical, too one-eyed in our approach to the world--and perhaps even the enlightened Christian can keep from throwing the baby Jesus out with the bath water.
Carson McCullers was one of the southern masters. She learned from the rich, ornate prose of Thomas Wolfe, the razor sharp accuracy and poetics of Capote, and the bitter irony of Flannery O'Connor. With writing to rival that of her masterpiece, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Reflections In A Golden Eye comes forward as a classic southern novella. Potentially scandalous for its time, Golden Eye maintains a steady, objective dignity that allows one to see beyond the sexual entanglements and the violence to the depths of the human condition. The ability to show us ourselves, even in our most extreme moments of good and evil, was McCullers wonderful gift.
than Eleanor Payson's grammatically clunky, repetitive, Alice Miller worshippiing, simplistic metaphor sodden The Wizard Of Oz and Other Narcissists. The Narcissism Epidemic does what few books on the subject do: includes the scientific research on the subject, avoiding the easy, breezy Milleresque platitudes directed at so-called victims (which often enough only teach THEM to be self-indulgent and self-focused). Read this book instead of the pulp self-help books on the narcissist.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.